Birding in the Rio Grande Valley: Santa Ana Refuge to a World Birding Center
South Texas is a haven for both birders and birds. Find out why as you learn from experts, discovering rare and beautiful birds in Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge and Bentsen State Park.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 11975RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

In one of America’s top three birding hot spots, take extensive field trips to some of the best birding sites in south Texas including the Santa Ana Refuge. The Rio Grande Valley area is home to many tropical bird species found nowhere else in the United States. Likely sightings include Chachalacas, Green Jays, Kiskadees, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and Altamira Orioles. Other targets are the Blue Mockingbird, Red-billed Pigeon, Olive Sparrow, parrots, parakeets and the tiny White-collared Seedeater.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Walking 1.5 miles daily. Full days of 6-7 hours in the field.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge — home to more than 400 documented species.
  • Bentsen State Park, where a number of new U.S. species have been first recorded, offers spectacular birding.
  • Enjoy a field trip to Salineno, with a possibility of sighting Mexican rarities, and visit a private preserve.

General Notes

All Road Scholar birding programs have a maximum participant-to-instructor ratio of 14:1 in the field. We adhere to the American Birding Association’s Code of Ethics. Learn more at http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
Featured Expert
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Bob Powell
Bob Powell has been a south Texas naturalist for 25 years. He has worked for the Frontera Audubon Society as their naturalist at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, has been a Ranger for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, and has organized and led bird watching programs for Texas Southmost College and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. When not in Texas, he leads natural history explorations throughout western North America.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Michael Marsden
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Bob Powell
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